Indigenous Foundations Program


For more information about admission requirements, deadlines or any other questions you have please contact our Student Success & Development Coordinator.
Phone: 705.474.3450 Ext. 4441

Program Overview

In the Indigenous Foundations Program students have the opportunity to earn university credits in an environment, which encourages growth, and learning while respecting cultural and traditional diversity.

The program provides students with a learning environment focused on the "Sweetgrass Holistic Approach to Support" where they can pursue their academic goals and be successful while balancing personal wellness.

An integrated staff of Elders, faculty and a dedicated Student Success Coordinator supports learners in the Indigenous Foundations Program program. This team recognizes and celebrates the learner' identities as Indigenous people.

When students successfully complete their first year in the Indigenous Foundations Program, they will have earned up to 24 university credits towards their university degree. Students will also have developed a strong foundational basis of academic and personal skills to help ensure their continued success in their studies at Nipissing University.

Academic Resources and Supports

Students participate in a series of workshops and activies to strengthen and enhance their academic skills and knowledge.

  • One-on-one (or small group) tutoring sessions
  • Writing and grammar skills workshops
  • Study Skills Seminars
  • Laptop Lending Initiative - any student in the Indigenous Foundations Program, who requires a laptop for their first year can borrow one through the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

Dakota "I didn’t look at university as an option because I thought I wasn’t smart enough. I didn’t believe I could succeed. I didn’t think it was the right place for me. But after applying for the Aboriginal Advantage Transition-to-University Program, being accepted, getting some experience, and getting to know what university is like, it’s amazing to be at Nipissing. By doing the work and putting in the effort, I’ve shown myself that I can succeed at the university level. I took a chance and now I’m excelling way past the point I thought I’d be."

Dakota, Bachelor of Arts Honours Specialization in Social Welfare and Social Development, Hometown: Ottawa, ON

Personal Resources and Supports

A Student Success Coordinator works with students to find balance between their academic and personal lives.

  • Transition Support
  • Stress Management
  • Budgeting/housing assistance (scholarships/awards/bursaries)

Peer and Community Connection

In the Indigenous Foundations Program, students are encouraged to make connections with their classmates, the staff and faculty within the university community.

  • Orientation
  • Cohort Model of Learning (learning together in group)
  • Connecting first year students in the Indigenous Foundations Program with previous AAP students and the wider Nipissing University community

Cultural Resources

The Indigenous Foundations Program involves the participation of Elders from the community to create connections to cultural support for students.

  • Sharing circles and smudges
  • Individual sessions with the Elder
  • On-going guidance and mentorship

Who can apply?

The Indigenous Foundations Program welcomes applicants from a wide range of students with Aboriginal ancestry who would like additional supports for their transition to university.

  • Recent high school graduates
  • Recent college graduates and transfer students
  • Mature Students

Application Required Documents

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. Statement of Intent - Personal letter outlining the student's educational goals, strengths and challenges.
  3. Updated resumé
  4. 2  Reference Forms from non-family members (1 personal /1 professional - Possible references include, teachers, employers, Elders or community members.)
  5. Original Transcripts (Secondary & Postsecondary)
  6. Proof of Ancestry

Make sure to contact our Student Success & Development Coordinator if you have any questions. 705-474-3450 Ext. 4441

Additional Information

Ready to apply to the Indigenous Foundations Program?


For additional information about admission requirements, deadlines or any other questions you have please contact our Student Success & Development Coordinator.

Phone: 705-474-3450 Ext. 4441